Thursday 13 August. A date many of you may have marked in your diary. With a few sleeps to go until A-Level results day (deep breaths), we spoke to our students on what they wish they’d known about Clearing before results day…

Clearing, simply explained, is just another route into university! Whether that’s because you weren’t planning to go in the first place, have changed your mind on your current choices or just didn’t quite get the grades for your first choice.

1. Although Clearing officially opens on results day, you can still do a lot of research beforehand to be better prepared on the day. Make sure you follow our updates on social media for up-to-date Clearing news and advice from our students and staff. You can also sign up to receive information on our available courses in Clearing.

 “Before results day I made a list of alternative courses and potential universities I would consider going to, which made the search in Clearing much easier.” – Jassi

2. Save yourself some time and have all your Clearing hotline numbers saved on your phone. Otherwise you’ll be staring at scraps of paper wondering ‘who’s this for?’ (To get you started here’s ours: 0121 331 6777). Our Clearing hotline will be open from 7am on Thursday 13 August and we’ll be wide awake, coffee in hand, ready to take your call!

“Have all your information available to hand. It makes it easier when you don’t have to rummage around finding numbers.” – Joe

3. As well as the all important Clearing hotline number, having your UCAS personal ID, Clearing entry number and A-Level and GCSE grades will quicken the process – even better if you know your tariff points. You may also want to keep a pen and paper nearby to take notes.

“I wish I had been told more about where I could find the courses that were in Clearing, and what I would encounter when I called the Clearing hotline. Also, knowing what information I should have to hand when I called would have been something useful to know.”- Hilary

Clearing 2015

4. As student Charmaine shared on her blog, if you haven’t already applied through UCAS you can still apply to a university through Clearing. Just go online and see what courses we have available and give us a call.

“It is a vital lifeline for those who hadn’t considered university before results day, those whose results were not what they expected and those who got rejected by their chosen universities. If you get your results and face the prospect of Clearing, go for it.”

5. If you’ve changed your mind and no longer want to go to your original choices, you can! You’ll need to let them know so they can release you into Clearing. Find out more about being ‘released’ on the UCAS website.

“If you decide you don’t want to go to the universities you’ve picked don’t be scared to go through Clearing instead!” – Dominique

6. It’s not as complicated as you think! Our Clearing hotline team are there to help you so there is no need to be worried or confused. We’ve seen and heard it all and will be able to answer any questions you have. You will either receive a decision straightaway or very soon afterwards. Just be calm and patient.

“It was so easy! I was expecting interviews on the phone lasting half an hour, and then in-person interviews, so I was surprised when Birmingham City University offered me the place on the phone after 10 minutes. Also, I wish I’d known that you have to be quick as some of the courses where already full.” – Kyriacos


7. If you’ve done better than expected you can change your mind about your choices and ‘trade up’ to pick a different course or university. This is called ‘Adjustment‘.

“My initial reaction was happiness that I got beyond the results I wanted.” – Runey

8. As we’ve mentioned, it’s going to be an emotional time. From fear and confusion to excitement and happiness, you’ll probably go through it all. But we’re here to help you through it.

“Looking back I wish I had heard different experiences about what happens during Clearing. Not just the practical side such as the process of calling different universities, but the emotional side and how individuals feel in the situation.” – Rumbidzai

9. If you’re applying for a course in Clearing, you can then visit us on our Clearing Open Day (Saturday 15 August). It’s the perfect opportunity to see what the university and student life is like here before you start in September. Come along and talk to lecturers and find out more about your courses of interest.

10. Clearing is actually a good thing! But don’t just take our word for it…

“Clearing is deemed to be a bad thing, but I actually went through clearing for a good reason. My results were better than expected.” – Sophie

“It’s not the worst thing! You’re just getting a second chance to prove yourself. Be positive. Everything happens for a reason..” – Priyanka

“I wish I was told how easy it was. There was no need to panic the way I did.” – Harmeet

Still waiting for your results? We can help if you’re worried or want to explore other options. We’ll also let you know about course vacancies once you get your results. See how we can help here.

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